Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Celebrity Is Not A Phase, But What We're Doomed To Forevermore?

There's something irksome about The New York Times' headline, Petraeus Case Raises Fears About Privacy in Digital Era by Scott Shane. In that problems befalling high-profile personalities' seem more worthy of public scrutiny protection. As the Times article points out - To this day, N.S.A. officials have revealed almost nothing about the warrantless wiretapping it conducted inside the United States in the hunt for terrorists in the years after 2001, even after the secret program was disclosed by The New York Times in 2005.


As whatever happens to smaller individuals is a pity we can't protect ourselves. The fact is in this affair it seems the general could have protected himself if he wasn't having fun hurting himself. I don't care. People who have a lot want more. That's the natural order of things. And of course that anyone can be thrown under the bus by the power of the press and The New York Times. 


Now General Petraeus will seem to owe powerful friends for clearing him from this mess of his own making, which he shouldn't really be convicted of in the sphere of public opinion. After all a Lindsay Lohan will keep her public career once the poor spoiled girl phase is finished and her people go on to twisting other adult-ish shenanigans into publicity triumph as bandwagon hitchers lose making their own marks on her club-kid coattails given to her by the publicity machinists. Who doesn't believe there's probably not already a Richard Burton Jr./lady-in-waiting prepared with publicity stills and all the rest when the - oh isn't it great she's brought Elizabeth Taylor back to life for us media frenzy begins. Or maybe they'll sell us that Lindsay has been convinced to go to People's Anonymous to kick us since alcohol is really such a darling of commercial media.


Run with what you've already got seems, right off the bat, the former Patraeus mistress' paved road of fame. Monica Lewinsky. Right, all this press happened because the general was so deeply cared for? So what are the intelligence services hiding to give so much line to the press to run with the hook in their mouths on this affair of jaded hearts? Presumably to get to the bottom of the bottom?

No kidding anyone's privacy is lost in the digital era. The only hope any of us has is if respect becomes more than an act of lip-service from intelligence agencies, fellow employers, fellow employees, the unemployed, criminals, victims, back stabbing psuedo-friends and probably the least capable of hearing the actual squeaks from the population, politicians and media titans embedded in their comfortable mobile thrones


So. Was my crack just callous about the media throwing citizens under the bus in their headlong maintenance of public attention supremacy? How I'd dare imply The Times could make such a mistake as hurting innocent people. They're just a paper reporting the truth and new stories must come out every day. I dug a little but search words didn't produce the actual Times article from about fifteen years ago so I'm working here without a net. As when I recalled Sean Hannity being a total jerk toward me by e-mail before he became famous.


The New York City Police Department Training Facility is no longer on 20th Street between Second and Third Avenues and a specific diner is no longer on the southwest corner of Second Avenue and Twentieth Street. But The New York Times did publish an article about an investigation of police illegally parking in that neighborhood in which the owner of the diner was quoted saying he thought the parking laws should be enforced toward the police as with all citizens. I don't agree. They're the cops and unless it's graft they should know best wherever they want to park whenever. Needless to say though The Times didn't defend the diner owner in a manner in which he was able to keep his business. He lost the police as customers and his windows were broken and he was forced out of business. That's the power of The Press to insist it's all our fault when we can't agree, though in that case The Times lit that fuse. 


Thought through the diner owner might have said in his situation it was best not to bother him. It was a story I've been unable to forget and how could The Times apologize when they just reported the truth? 


Which is really that the truth is we should all learn to show better respect. I still don't understand how the police in charge of that street couldn't have done the right thing. But it's a big city. We're all victims from time to time. I lost several thousand dollars in stolen bicycles my first five years working in Manhattan and only because the police shut down a bike-theft ring did that problem subside. We need the police to not be picked on. Why was it so important where they park? Because people want to read their problems are addressed and the media can't always pick and choose who wins. If only everyone could go to court as much as Lindsay Lohan to build up their personal media careers? 
Can't you see it? A bidding war between Jay Leno and Barbara Walters for the exclusive General and Mrs. Petraeus interview. But don't drink the water. Our country risks becoming a celebrity poisoned well.
SOAPBOX VIEWC@ST 
November  13, 2012
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